3.5 stars. A Study in Charlotte is a pretty genius take on the Sherlock Holmes stories. It’s a modern-day retelling which we’ve seen before, but Cavallaro sets her characters in high school and makes them descendants of the real life Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Making them descendants is such a smart move because Jamie and Charlotte can share traits with their predecessors, but they aren’t glued to them. They can have their own adventures and personalities. Also, three cheers for a female Sherlock. She’s every bit as prickly as the male versions and just as lovable. I know it’s always Watson’s job to be the narrator, but I almost wish we could have had some of the story from Charlotte’s perspective. Oh well.
Jamie Watson is living his life in London, going to high school and trying to become a better writer, when he gets offered a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a prestigious prep school in Connecticut. It just happens to be where Charlotte Holmes also attends school. Watson grew up hearing stories about Charlotte solving her first cases and has always dreamt about being her sidekick. Now that they’re going to the same school, it seems like his dreams might become reality. Unfortunately Charlotte has her own agenda and it doesn’t include obtaining a sidekick. That is, until one of the students at Sherringford is murdered and the police suspect Holmes, Watson, or both had something to do with it.
This definitely had the feel of an introductory novel. The mystery was there, but didn’t really hold my attention. I was definitely in it for the relationship between Holmes and Watson. It was fun watching them navigate their friendship and learn how to work together. I would have given this a full four stars if it weren’t for the beginnings of a romance plot. I reeeaalllly am not into Sherlock getting together with Watson in any of the originals or adaptations. I think the kids call that a NOtp. Your mileage may vary of course.